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Why seek employment law advice for your small business

While it is perfectly normal for a business owner to want to focus on the most essential processes that contribute to the success and growth of its small business or startup, paying attention to the legal aspects of running a business is also very important. Statutory compliance, staff employment, terms of service and supplier contracts are the areas where professional legal advice services can help secure your business and save money in the long term.

According to a recent report published by the UK Legal Services Board, called In Need of Advice? and based on a YouGov survey of over 9000 British small businesses, 38% of surveyed small businesses experienced one or more legal problems in the past year, out of which employment law issues were second most common situations business owners had to face, right after issues concerning trading. While 45% of surveyed small business owners considered that legal problems have a tangible impact on their business operations and growth, in the majority of cases they dealt with problems entirely on their own (52%), with only 16% of legal problems being solved through professional legal services.

Prepare your small business for future employment law situations

As businesses grow, its almost inevitable that small business owners will have to deal with the occasional difficult employment scenario, the most common issues revolving around employee gross misconduct, unfair dismissal and redundancy. These employment issues can have a negative impact on the overall performance of the business and can quickly escalate and generate loss if the correct legal steps are not followed. This is why seeking employment law advice from the outset helps a small business be prepared to handle any employment situation correctly .

Employment law advice directly from the experts

It is good business practice to seek employment legal advice not only when employee grievances arise or legal action is required, but from the very beginning of your business setup.

Other than offering employment law advice and support in cases of gross misconduct, redundancy and dismissals, an employment law solicitor can play a preventive role, by helping small business owners set up the correct employment contracts, prepare employee handbooks and other essential employment procedures and keep the business up to date on employment legislation.

Affordable employment legal advice

There are many ways in which small businesses that cannot afford a dedicated HR and employment service can still benefit from expert employment legal advice. While engaging a high street employment firm of solicitors on matters requiring legal action in court can prove to be an expensive exercise, small business owners can seek employment law advice with local professional associations and groups, which offer a series of online legal advice resources that any small business can easily access. Another route to take is to engage independent accounting and tax consultants that often include employment solicitors and offer employment law advice and guidance on a retainer arrangement, which is usually the most cost-effective solution for small businesses.

Bank Of America Loan Modification — A Simple Five Steps To Approval!

Have you been worried or even just concerned about meeting a high monthly mortgage payment? Perhaps you have been pondering negotiating for a better deal, such as a Bank of America loan modification period. This nationwide lending bank is now offering loan workarounds to some of its borrowers. You can improve your chances of getting the loan modification deal. If you meet certain approval requirements, you can lower your mortgage payment. Before you apply, you need to know about these Five Steps to Approval.

1.Study the Bank of America loan modification approval guidelines. To qualify for a loan workaround program, you must meet specific disposable income and debt to income ratios.

2.Collect all necessary documentation for the bank. A bank officer will review your documents to decide whether you qualify for a Bank of America loan modification. Be sure that you have everything before you apply, in order to avoid any possibility of delay or even denial of your application.

3.A Hardship Letter is an essential part of your document package. You must present convincing, compelling evidence that you have experienced or will suffer from a financial hardship due to your current mortgage payment. There are three essential elements in a Hardship Letter — be sure that you know what they are.

4.Take time to prepare, accurately and properly, the Bank of America loan modification application forms. Everything you state is subject to verification, and so you must include all important information, truthfully, to ensure that your loan workaround is given the maximum possible consideration for approval.

5.Be persistent. Eight weeks is not uncommon for processing time of your Bank of America loan modification application. So be patient as well! Even if you are declined the first time, do not give up. Many homeowners were able to get an initial rejection of their application overturned by being diligent, tenacious, focused, and persistent in their pursuit of an affordable mortgage. Your home is at stake, and a successful application allows you to keep your home.

By studying the guidelines; being diligent, complete and truthful in your application; and persisting in your qualification process, a Bank of America loan modification may well be yours. Take the time and invest the energy in doing the application properly, by understanding the bank’s approval guidelines. Ask any necessary questions for proper completion of the paperwork. Get the help you need and keep your home, as homeowners across the country continue to do. You too can do it!

When To Seek Professional Help With Financial Problems In Canada

Seeking professional help due to financial problems is a typical experience that most people have to face at least once in their lives. The most important thing when in financial trouble is to be able to recognize the signs and seek assistance from a professional to help get you out of financial danger. In a situation like this it requires you to take action to seek help in order to help yourself. It is also crucial to recognize that what is dangerous for one person may not be for another and may just be a bad month.

In Canada there are four financial signs to warn you that you may be in a financially dangerous spot. The first sign is if you have failed to make one or more payments on a mortgage or loan you may be in financial danger. Keep in mind one late payment over a course of a long period is not the same as repetitive failing to make payments. The second sign of financial danger is if your credit cards are constantly at their limit and unable to be used. The third sign is if you are paying bills by taking credit card cash advantages you may be in financial danger. This is a big one because by doing this you are allowing yourself to pay off debt with debt which just repeats the cycle. The fourth sign is if your creditors have passed your account to a collection agency or if you have received notice of legal action being taken. At that point you are experiencing financial danger and it is important that you are aware of this and take action to receive help.

It is in such a place like the one above where you need to decide to take action and either seek professional help or learn techniques to keep your bank balanced so that you are not missing payments. It is important to recognize that every situation is individualized, and being late on a payment is a lot different than already receiving a legal notice of action against you. Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes things in life are beyond our control and you may not have a say in the way things happen. These can be things such as losing your job, experiencing a death or divorce.

Overall, financial problems come in many different shapes and sizes and it is important to be aware of your financial problems and face them square on so that it reduces the risk of having trouble later on.

How Do I Get To Be A Partner In An Accountancy Firm

For those starting their accountancy career, achieving the status of partner at their firm can seem a lofty ambition. If you are a trainee at one of the Big4 firms the route to becoming a partner is to progress up the corporate ladder. At the bottom of the ladder are the interns (trainees), who, upon qualifying become associates.

The next step is to be promoted to a senior associate, then a manager, senior manager and then (hopefully) being offered a partnership. The length of time it takes to become a partner will be at least 10-12 years, which seems a long time, yet if you start as a graduate trainee at 21, this means you could make partner by the time you are in your early thirties. Fast progression is made even more possible if your area of specialisation e.g. tax is an area the firm particularly needs expertise in.

On being offered a position as a partner you will be encouraged to buy into the firm i.e. invest your own money in the firm (possibly by taking out a loan) in order to become a part-owner of the firm. New partners make the decision to invest in the knowledge that they will receive a big salary which will go up every year (starting from about 60,000-160,000 per year to 500,000 and above), and upon retiring they will receive dividends each year thereafter.

By part owning the firm however a partner has to consider the financial risk involved to him/herself should the firm become involved in any litigation, since then as part-owner would be considered culpable, even if they were not personally responsible. The Big4 firms employ over 500 partners each, with KPMG having over 800.

The route to the top is more difficult for some than others women and ethnic minorities are severely under-represented at partnership level, with some large accountancy practices having none at all at the top level. The Big4 have less than 5% ethnic minorities and less than 10% women partners. This is more surprising if you consider that most of the big firms take on an equal amount of male and female graduate trainees, and reinforces the stereotypical image of partners all being white and male.

However the top firms are starting to recognise that they might be missing out on talent and beginning to bring into practice new working conditions e.g. flexitime in order to help with childcare arrangements.

How to Find an FTC-Compliant Debt Settlement Company

Frequently, debt settlement companies make fraudulent claims to potential clients. They might say: “You will only pay 25% of your debts,” or “This will not affect your credit score,” or “Calls and letters from creditors will automatically stop once you join our program.” These are all false statements, and they will not be made by a company that is compliant with the Federal Trade Commission, an independent agency of the United States government. This article discusses what an FTC-compliant debt settlement company should explain to potential clients.

Before we proceed, let’s look at the difference between debt settlement (also known as debt resolution or debt negotiation) and bill consolidation. A bill consolidation business negotiates interest rates and late fees with creditors. A debt settlement company negotiates lower balances. Suppose that you have $25,000 of unsecured debt with two credit card companies at a blended interest rate of 21%. A bill consolidation business negotiates lower interest rates on the two credit cards. A debt resolution company negotiates a lower balance.

Now, let’s go ahead and explain what an FTC-compliant business should clarify to prospective clients.

An FTC-compliant company should give potential clients an “honest assessment” of their current debt situation. They might say that filing for bankruptcy implies that one is not willing to take responsibility for his/her debts. They might also explain that the new bankruptcy laws make it more difficult for consumers to become debt free than before. They might remind prospective clients that bill resolution has worked remarkably for thousands of people over the years. However, personal commitment is needed to make debt negotiation work effectively.

New FTC regulations prohibit debt settlement companies from charging upfront fees before they begin working with consumers and businesses. A FTC-compliant company gives potential clients a free, no obligation debt analysis, which should include a free debt settlement savings estimate.

A debt settlement business that is compliant with the Federal Trade Commission cannot “guarantee” how much money clients will save using debt negotiation. Results vary from person to person. However, a responsible company will do everything to save their clients as much money as possible. A leading debt resolution business has this statement on their website: “We or your assigned local legal representation will do everything … to save you as much money as possible. Review past settlement letters to get an idea of how we have been able to negotiate settlements with creditors before.”

A trusted company will always have debt settlement letters and client testimonials on their website. How can anyone gain confidence in a business that does not provide any of this vital information?

An FTC-compliant company should make it clear that collection calls and letters might continue during debt resolution. A bill negotiation team normally sends out letters to creditors notifying them that a client has asked for debt help. However, this cannot stop “lawful collection activities.” In spite of this, many people report that phone calls and letters from creditors and collection agencies stop or decrease once they have sought debt relief.

Blog Entrepreneur Blogging Is the Perfect Internet Business

If someone were to tell you that you could create a global business, completely for free, with nothing more than the tools you already have, and the investment of your time, you’d question their sanity.

Nevertheless, it’s true. If blogging appeals to you, you can create a viable Internet business within a few months: for free.

Blogging is a new development in online businesses. Essentially, it’s instant publishing. Because entrepreneurial blogging is so new, you have a great opportunity to build your business before others copy what you’re doing, so get started now, and start building your own online empire.

Let’s look at five business models for your new Internet blogging business. These five models can be combined if you wish there are no rules in blogging. You can change the business model of a blog at any time, to a model which generates more income.

Each of these models has the potential to earn you a six-figure income. They are:

Affiliate blog(s)

Web publisher blog(s)

Sales blog(s)

Service blog(s)

Blog network(s)

Let’s look at these models one by one.

Affiliate blog(s)

Many businesses develop affiliate programs, because they can recruit a sales force of thousands of people, with little expense. The appeal of affiliate programs for affiliate marketers is that you don’t need a product or service you can start selling others’ products, on commission.

If you intend creating an affiliate blog, select the products that you’ll be selling before you create the blog. This is because you want to be sure that there is a wide range of products that you can promote. There’s nothing worse than developing a blog, and finding out that the well is dry: you’ve picked a niche where products rarely change, and in which the products are so standardized that there’s nothing new to write or podcast about.

Web publisher blog(s)

In this model, your blog is the online equivalent of a magazine. Just as a magazine has features and advertising, so does your blog. In this business model, your content is vital, because you’re counting on your content to attract advertisers.

If you choose to develop a Web publisher blog, you’ve got great models the thousands of magazines which are published each year. Check out a couple of your favorite magazines. Usually a monthly magazine will have a theme for each monthly issue, with two or more stories devoted to this theme. The magazine publishes its editorial calendar a year in advance, so that advertisers can line up their advertising for a specific issue.

Sales blog(s)

In the sales model, you devote a blog to a single product, or range of products. When offline companies start blogs, their blogs are sales blogs they’re using their blogs to sell their products. If you have products that you want to sell, a sales blog is an excellent business model. You could sell a product that you’ve created an ebook, a DVD, or art work or products that you buy from others, and resell.

Sage X3 Vs Jd Edwards Enterprise One Erp Software

Sage X3 vs JD Edwards Enterprise, both of these software applications and its usefulness will be clear with the following details as described in the review.

Overview

Sage X3 ERP is a fully integrated software application that comprises of functionalities from manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, CRM and accounting and bags 20 years of service in providing solution to the companies. This application is used for the mid sized industries for performing accounting; operations; customer relationship management (CRM); human resources (HR); time tracking; and merchant services. The Sage X3 has to be used in a manner that it reduces the cost. This application is easy to use and implement and affordable for the mid sized companies. Sage X3 ERP has been configured in offerings that support Process, Discrete and Distribution environments. Sage X3 application majorly used explicitly in Food and Beverage, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Petrochemicals and sub industries as diverse as dairies, bakeries, paints, lubricants and cosmetics. This also assures a good quality management and control.

The Assessment

The market segments that it aims at and has been delivering performance are the small level and entry level and serving approx. 5.3 million customer; lower mid market having approx.614,000 customers and also the upper mid market and the enterprise holding approx 184,000 customers. This application caters to the evolving needs of the customers and is so customer centric. It thereby renders with the following beneficiaries of reduced time and cost and streamlines and accelerates the business process. It also optimizes the use of current capacity, inter operates across locations thereby improves customers experience. Sage X3 vs JD Edwards Enterprise One so far depicts that the usage is primarily dependant on the companies’ requirement.

Working with Sage X3 vs JD Edwards Enterprise

JD Edwards Enterprise One is an integrated applications suite of comprehensive enterprise resource planning software. This application enables to integrate all the business aspects like customer relationship management, enterprise asset management, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and supplier relationship management. It provides business intelligence and performance management tools that help you measure the value that sage X3 solutions deliver. It is like a one time investment that can only increase the rapidity of the work process. The basic look out while adopting this package are its features of easy implementation with less of customization. Only JD Edwards Enterprise One offers a choice of databases, operating systems, and hardware so you can build and expand your IT solution to meet business requirements.

Does Your Small Business Really Need A Server The Answer Is No.

As a network computer technician I’ve come to the choice that I don’t think my small business clients that employ between 2-10 people should even bother with installing what we might consider a regular server nowadays. It is overkill, expensive and a major source of problems if something goes wrong. So what do I recommend instead? I would recommend a file server with local and offline backup. What made me come to this decision? A number of real world issues, actually.

Too many computer consultants come from an environment where they were taught and schooled on how to maintain servers. To me this is the old way of doing things. Unless you are hosting your email in-house there isn’t the need for the old server.

Think about this…what services do you really want to provide that are mission critical for your clients? For my clients the most important need is a way to create and access files that are backed up on a regular basis. I have seen too many small businesses shut down for days on end because they put all of their trust in a old server and a tape backup system. Why are these servers and tapes such a problem?

Think about this for a second. If a piece of hardware fails in your server, chance are that you won’t be able to replace that broken or failing part with something you can buy locally. Often times you have to call the server manufacturer and wait patiently for them to ship you a replacement part, all the while your business is at a stand still.

And tapes for backing up data? Unless you have an enormous amount of data, backing up to multiple hard drives is faster. And these hard drives will be able to access that data in other computer while you get your server fixed.

Another solution I recommend is using a service such as Dropbox to backup files. I don’t completely rely on Dropbox, though. I prefer to have a physical backup of the client’s data at the site of their business and then use Dropbox as a way to get a backup off-site. If anything catastrophic were to happen to the small business, such as a fire of a flood, it is easier to get a computer up and running, re-attach it to Dropbox and the data is back and ready to be used.

Three simple and affordable advertising ideas for your small business

When running a small business, marketing your products and services is an important aspect your must consider and plan for. No matter what industry you play in you will no doubt have competition. Even if you provide a better service or product you still need to stand out so consumers know. Marketing can be a big cost but there are also many affordable alternative to advertise your business.

Here are three simple advertising ideas and suggestions to give you high visility.

Vehicle back windows

A rear car window covererd with a sticker of your business is an affordable option to promote your business. Whenever your car is being driven around your business is being seen. For as little as one hundred and fifty dollars this is a small investment. Depending on how many years your sticker last, the breakdown cost of purchasing you rear window sticker works out to be even less.

Don’t overload the sticker with too much details. Keep the sticker bright and colorful. Avoid a cluttered look with too much details. Keep it simple. Don’t put more than three items of information. Your logo with business name, phone and tagline is all you need.

Car magnets

Large car magnets are another cheap alternative. These magnets are strong enough to withstand high speeds. To repeat – keep the design simple. Order many at a time and hand them out to your friends for their cars. You can purchase four magnets for as little as fifty dollars.

An alternative to magnets is use multiple smaller sized ones. A stack of twenty five magnets can be bought for about thirty dollars. Get people to take notice by scattering you car with these. When people take your magnets you know they’re working.

Outdoor banners

Ask your signwriter to print you a large banner. The cost of a small banner can be as little as one hundred dollars. We’ve even seen banners from as low as six dollars.

Use the small banners effectively by parking at the front of a busy event or location. Hang the banner from the side of your car. Your car and banner can’t be missed.

These are three simple advertising ideas to kick start your marketing on a budget.

Click Here to see Ryan Johns working these advertising ideas